Can I drink alcohol? Will my cholesterol go up? How many eggs can I eat? Is keto a high protein diet?

These are the most common low-carb questions for beginners.

It’s the most comprehensive guide to starting low-carb and keto you will ever find PLUS a short FAQ and diet sheet.

mockups of low-carb FAQ and diet sheet keto meal plan
Low-carb keto FAQ and FREE printable diet sheet with easy meal ideas for beginners.

[convertkit form=2922898]

Print the quick low-carb diet sheet and keto meal plan with a handy list of low-carb diet foods to enjoy that will help you lose weight, burn carbs, stabilize blood sugar levels, and discover how much protein, carbs, and fat you should eat in a day.

Are you ready to create the ultimate 12-month blueprint for reaching your health & weight loss goals this coming year?

How to Lose Weight & Transform Your Health for Life

Our free on-demand video training will walk you through how to make 2024 THE year you set health goals…and keep them.

If you are new here, you may want to read the keto glossary to help you understand keto words, keto acronyms, and keto slang.

Low-carb FAQ and diet sheet

If you want to start a low-carb diet to burn fat and drop body weight but feel confused, then download your copy of the Low-Carb FAQ & Diet Sheet so you can get started today … even if you are a sugar addict.

You’ll get a handy list of easy low-carb snack ideas, low-carb meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

How to start low-carb and keto

All the most common questions to starting a low-carb diet or keto diet are answered below, but this is a quick summary of what you will discover.

  1. CALCULATE: Learn how to calculate your daily carbs, protein, and fat.
  2. AVOID: Know which foods you need to avoid to lose weight.
  3. ENJOY: See which delicious low-carb foods you can enjoy.
  4. BENEFITS: Understand the incredible benefits of low-carb nutrition and ketogenic nutrition along with stable blood sugars.

[convertkit form=2922898]

Further resources: Before we begin answering your low-carb FAQ, if you are new here you might like to look at my other pages for low-carb beginners. Learn how to start your keto diet and burn carbs for fat loss.

What is a low-carb diet?

A low-carb diet is where you reduce your carbs to 100g net carbs per day or less. You will base your meals on nutrient-dense carbs (vegetables, dairy, nuts, berries), quality protein (beef, chicken, pork, and fish), and healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, butter, coconut oil)

What is a keto diet?

A keto diet is stricter and you can only eat 20g net carbs per day. Healthy whole food, moderate to high protein, and healthy fats. Losing weight may initially be faster but you may be tempted to have regular cheat meals if a keto diet is too strict for you.

What food can I eat in a low-carb keto diet?

collage of keto foods
mockup of the keto diet food list on various devices and a buy now button

Most people wonder what can you eat on a low-carb diet or keto diet. You will eat a variety of whole foods on your low-carb or keto diet that will help you achieve stable blood sugar, improved appetite control, and steady weight loss.

  • Chicken breast, drumsticks, legs, and ground chicken.
  • Beef casserole, ground beef, sirloin, rib eye, casserole, burgers.
  • Pork chops, pork rinds, pork loin, schnitzel, pulled pork.
  • Fish, shrimp, prawns, salmon, mussels, oysters.
  • Non-starchy vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, Brussels sprouts.
  • Full-fat dairy, cheese, cream cheese, parmesan, heavy cream, butter, and unsweetened yogurt.
  • Low-sugar fruits, berries, lemons, and limes.

How many carbs can I eat?

How many carbs you consume each day will be dictated by your health goals and carbohydrate tolerance.

Generally, a low-carb diet is considered to be:

  • <100g/day = moderate low-carb
  • <50g/day = low-carb
  • <20g/day = keto

Many readers like to begin by simply reducing their carbs to a level that is sustainable and weight loss still occurs.

To work out your carbs, protein, and fat limits to enjoy each day, use the FREE macro calculator.

mockup of the keto diet food list on various devices and a buy now button
What are net carbs? How many carbs should I eat?

Net carbs refer to the number of carbs left after you subtract the amount of dietary fiber from the food. For example, a snack with 9g total carbs and 5g fiber has 4g net carbs.

Is keto a high-fat diet?

A low-carb diet and keto diet both enjoy higher fat intake than a standard American diet, but you should not eat excessive amounts of fat. You want to burn body fat, not the fat from your meal. Eat only enough fat to keep you full and satiated and to help appetite control. It is a myth that you need to drink bulletproof coffee and eat fat bombs to reach a daily fat goal.

Which sweeteners can I eat and are sweeteners safe?

Yes, you can use sweeteners, but which one you choose is up to you. The most common natural sugar replacements are erythritol, monk fruit, and stevia. Find which sweetener is best for you and test to make sure your blood sugar doesn’t rise. Especially sugar alcohols.

Is keto a high-protein diet?

Eating moderate-high amounts of protein is recommended. Too many people have been concerned that excessive protein may potentially raise your glucose levels through gluconeogenesis, but to what extent varies with context.

The change in glucose levels and insulin demand that is required to process the protein is raised 70% higher in someone who is living the S.A.D (standard American diet, which is high in carbs, starch, and sugar) compared to only a minimal rise in those who are living a low-carb lifestyle and following the keto food pyramid.

The current dietary guidelines for protein goal is only a minimum requirement to provide sufficient protein to prevent a protein deficiency. Eating a moderate or higher protein is satiating without all high fat which is unnecessary and often the most common cause of why you’re not losing weight.

Do I need to count calories?

The most important aspect to focus on is counting carbs. Calories do count, but it’s more important where those calories are coming from. Eating fewer carbs, more protein, and healthy fats leave you satiated and you end up eating less, reducing your overall food intake and calorie consumption.

If your weight loss stops, then you may want to count calories for a short period to check whether you are eating the correct ratios of carbs, protein, and fat.

What are the side effects of a low-carb diet?

Some people experience the “keto flu” when cutting their daily carb intake. You may experience transient headaches, dizziness, and lethargy (tiredness). How do you avoid the keto flu? By drinking plenty of fluids and keeping your electrolytes up.

Is a low-carb diet the same as the Atkins diet?

There are similarities and differences between the ketogenic diet, low-carb diets, and Atkins. The ketogenic diet focuses on net carbs and putting your body into a fat-burning mode to reduce body weight.

The Atkins diet has phases and looks at total carbs. It has a very restrictive phase at first and eventually tapers off to allow people to eat more carbs – like starchy vegetables.

They might seem the same, but the Atkins diet and ketogenic diet are not the same. They both might focus on carb intake and have benefits on your blood sugar and weight loss but the Atkins diet relies on processed foods such as keto bars and keto shakes, also known as dirty keto.

Always read the nutrition label because many low-carb and keto bars contain sweeteners that can raise your blood sugar. If they contain maltitol, do not buy them and do not eat them. Maltitol will raise your blood sugar as much as sugar.

How low-carb should my children go?

Some children may need to have their carbs severely restricted depending on their health, weight loss goals, and medical need for a ketogenic diet. For example a ketogenic protocol for epilepsy.

Personally, I do not count carbs for my children and my children eat exactly the same meals as I do. My children are lower carb, not no-carb, and that is where some confusion or myths originate.

My emphasis is on providing whole food that is naturally lower in carbs and avoiding sugar and junk.

When you switch to an unprocessed way of eating, you almost become low-carb by default. My children enjoy more low-sugar fruit than I do. They snack more often than I do, and they enjoy some starchy vegetables whereas I would not. 

Children are more carb sensitive (a higher carb tolerance), and so have less of an insulin response to carbs. I allow them to have cake and treats occasionally when out with friends, or at parties as I think it is so important for them not to feel different.

They also don’t want to be seen as a fussy child who never gets invited anywhere. As the public perception of sugars and grains is changing, I hope these high-carb parties will become less. But it is not a big part of our diet, so I don’t worry.

Our diet at home is low-carb, but with occasional low-carb treats. I just make sure that the treats are in the form of unprocessed, good-quality carbs.

It is important for children to understand whole food nutrition is important because, without our health, we can’t do the things we want to do.

[convertkit form=2922898]

What can I eat on a low-carb diet?

Chart answering a low carb FAQ about how different grains impact your blood sugar levels.

Source: How carbs affect blood sugars.

Now let’s look at the most frequently asked questions about which types of food you can eat on a low-carb diet. Do you need carbs to fuel your body and brain? Can you drink alcohol on a keto diet? And how many eggs can you eat each day?

A ketogenic diet is full of quality protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense food with limited net carbs.

What carbs must I give up?

Sugars, cakes, ice cream, bread, pasta, rice, beans, french fries, sugary drinks, fruit juice, fruit smoothies, legumes, high-starch vegetables (root vegetables) such as potatoes and sweet potatoes.

There are so many easy low-carb eating substitutions you can make. You can enjoy low-glycemic fruits instead of tropical fruit, swap mashed potato for easy low-carb side dishes, keto green smoothies for fruit smoothies, and you can even enjoy delicious cheesy keto garlic bread.

How many eggs can I eat?

When you are eating low-carb, you can eat as many eggs as you want. Eggs have been off the menu for so long because of the fear of saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease, but after it has been found that there is no link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease, the restriction has been quietly lifted.

Eggs are little powerhouses of nutrition. They are often referred to as nature’s multivitamins. Eggs are a high protein, affordable, and versatile family-friendly ingredient for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a portable high-protein snack. 

Can I drink alcohol on a keto diet?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up alcohol, but choose wisely and don’t overdo it. Avoid any alcoholic drinks which are high in sugar such as cocktails, sweet wines, dessert wines, schnapps, or spirits with sweet mixers such as sodas, juice, or syrups.

Go instead for low-carb alcohol such as dry red wine, dry white wine, champagne, spirits mixed with diet soda, water, or on the rocks.

It’s also important to remember that your body burns alcohol before fat, so you may stop losing weight. Alcohol may also give you a snack attack and reduce your willpower to resist those high-carb snacks late at night.

So go ahead and enjoy a glass of dry wine but be brutally honest about how much and how often you drink alcohol. It may be stalling your keto diet progress.

So if you need to kick start the scales again, you may wish to stop the alcohol for a while. You don’t need to say no forever, it’s just no for now.

Can I drink diet drinks on my keto diet?

There is a place for diet drinks initially to help you overcome the addiction to sugary drinks but eventually, you need to give them up because they are ultra-processed and there is continuing debate on whether they affect your insulin. Some PRO members report they stop losing weight as soon as they start back onto diet drinks, so monitor yourself and see if they fit into your daily goals.

Can I eat chocolate and desserts on a low-carb diet?

To help reduce sugar cravings we need to reduce our general intake of sweet things. Even though you should avoid sugar and carb-rich foods, there is a way for sugar-free desserts to fit in with most ketogenic diets and still experience weight loss.

I include low-carb baking and low-carb dessert recipes on Ditch The Carbs for times that we want to indulge, but part of the low-carb ethos is that we actually want to get away from sweet treats on a regular basis.

So sure, enjoy eating low-carb desserts, cakes, and biscuits, but not often. Don’t make them part of your everyday life. Low-carb eating is mostly about eating nutritiously.

Is eliminating whole food groups unhealthy?

No, eliminating entire food groups is not unhealthy, even on a low-carb diet, as long as your diet is well-balanced. Vegans and vegetarians eliminate all animal protein but can be healthy if they formulate their diet to meet their recommended protein intake and do not rely on processed vegan food.

By lowering your carb intake you only eliminate wheat, grains, and sugar, which are not food groups, but sadly found in thousands of products.

On the low-carb diet, you will enjoy nutrient-dense, unprocessed carbohydrates, but in very limited quantities. Your carbohydrates now come from sources such as non-starchy vegetables, full-fat dairy, nuts, seeds, and low-sugar fruit such as berries.

By choosing to live low-carb, we reduce the impact carbohydrates have on your body, reduce your insulin requirements, improve your appetite control, and improve your cholesterol profile.

Low-carb meals can help weight loss, and so much more. It’s healthy in so many ways.

Are whole grains unhealthy?

Whole grains by themselves are not unhealthy, but when eaten to excess in foods such as donuts, cakes, pies, bread, pasta, and high-sugar granola, they can be unhealthy, even for people not on a low-carb diet.

Grains are high in starch and high carb. They raise your blood sugar as much as table sugar. See the chart above.

Diets that are full of whole grains are also high in carbs, may cause inflammation, and contain gluten that may inflame the lining of the gut, which often causes leaky gut and malabsorption of vitamins and nutrients. Grains such as pasta, rice, and bread, cheaply bulk up a meal whilst reducing the nutrient density of that meal.

And don’t be fooled by the term “heart-healthy whole grains.” This is simply a modern marketing tool to make a product appear to be more healthy and more natural than it is.

By omitting grains, bread, and pasta from your diet, you begin to base your meals on whole food and gain stable blood sugars. This will help you reduce your daily carb intake to meet your weight loss goals (and help reduce your average blood sugar readings).

Why can’t I eat cereals? Granola? Even organic wholegrains with the health- heart tick?

Read my post on cereals. If you understand what is wrong with cereals and granola, you will understand what is wrong with modern food production. Cereals are cheap grains and refined carbs that are highly processed, stripped of nutrients, then fortified with vitamins to gain health star ratings.

Cereals and granola are more like desserts, high in carbs, colors, and sugars.

And don’t be fooled by marketing that says organic is best (pssst … there is no such thing as a healthy sugar), or that we need whole grains (they only increase your appetite, spike insulin, and cause a leaky gut and malabsorption of nutrients), or the if they have the Heart Foundation Tick they must be good for us (manufacturers reformulate their products to get the ‘tick’ as they know this improves sales).

And definitely don’t go for cereals with dried fruit (nature’s candy), or add fruit yogurt (packed with sugars), or add tinned/canned fruit to your cereal (again, full of sugars even if they are in natural juice or syrups).
There are so many healthy low-carb breakfast alternatives that are full of nutrition. Enjoy eggs, bacon, mushrooms, vegetables, grain-free granola, keto smoothies with spinach, or last night’s leftovers.

Is there a healthy sugar? Can I use honey, agave, maple syrup, or dried fruit?

No, you cannot use these types of sugar on a low-carb diet. There is no such thing as healthy sugar.

Yes, these may be ‘natural’ but the body sees them all in exactly the same way – sugar.

It is marketing that has made us feel better about sweetening foods with natural ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, or dried fruits. And no, buying these sugars from an organic farmer’s market isn’t any better.

And as for agave, it is 80-95% fructose, which is just a natural form of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). Fructose is not metabolized in the same way glucose is, causing visceral fat (dangerous fat surrounding our organs).

Carbs from ANY source → Glucose → High Insulin → Fat storage and stop fat burning ⇒ WEIGHT GAIN + INCREASED APPETITE

If you are new here, you need to learn the best sweeteners for a low-carb and keto diet. Because once you understand which sweeteners to use and which to avoid, your low-carb baking will be far more successful.

mockup of the keto diet food list on various devices and a buy now button
Chart answering a low carb FAQ about what the healthiest sugar is
Source and credit: Huffington Post

[convertkit form=2922898]

Is low-carb a healthy diet?

These are some common low-carb diet questions about how healthy it is to reduce your carb intake and whether is keto safe. Will weight loss start straight away? Will your blood pressure improve? Is a low-carb diet good for blood pressure? How many net carbs per day should you eat? And is burning carbs better than burning fat?

What are the advantages of a ketogenic diet?

There are lots of benefits to eating fewer carbohydrates and increasing your healthy fat intake. Here are the main health advantages of a low-carb diet.

Appetite regulation: Low-carb diets and keto diets increase satiety due to the balanced blood sugar levels they promote.

Weight loss: Researchers have shown time and time again that low-carb diets are the most successful for long-term weight loss.

Blood sugar control: Dietary carbohydrates have the biggest impact on our blood sugar and insulin levels. Restricting carbohydrates in our diet has a direct result in lowering our sugar levels and insulin needs. High sugar levels play a part in almost all chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, dementiacancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Heart health: Low-carb diets have a beneficial impact on reducing your risk factors for a whole host of heart disease risk factors. Reducing sugar and processed carbs often helps people lower blood pressure, reduce triglycerides (a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease) and increase the concentrations of HDL (known as the “good” cholesterol).

Additional benefits: By switching your body to run on fat and produce ketones, you will find several additional benefits. Ketones have been frequently used to help athletes for endurance events. Ketones may also help children control seizures, improve brain clarity, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, and have been shown to aid cancer recovery as cancer cells have insulin receptors and can only be fuelled by glucose.

Further reading: Advantage Of A Low-Carb Diet, you will soon understand how many health benefits this way of living provides (beyond weight loss).

Do I need carbs to fuel my body and brain?

No, our bodies are brilliant adapters and can run far more efficiently on fat! You do not need carbs to fuel your body and your brain – which is why a low-carb diet can be so healthy and you can feel so incredible.

When your body is fuelled by a low-carb or keto diet, you achieve stable lower blood glucose levels and your body will switch from burning sugar for energy to learning how to burn fat.

When you keep your carb levels low on a high-fat diet, you begin to use your glycogen stores and lower your insulin levels (the energy storage hormone). Your body starts burning fat for fuel (instead of sugar), ketones are created. 

This is known as nutritional ketosis.

When you are fuelled by ketones, you experience more stable energy levels, improved mood, decreased hunger, reduced inflammation, and incredible mental clarity. No more afternoon energy slumps!

Will I be deficient in nutrients by avoiding carbs?

There are no essential carbohydrates. There are no essential sugars. There are zero nutrients in sugar, there are no nutrients in whole grains that can’t be found in quality meat and non-starchy vegetables.

By eating more healthy fats such as butter, avocados, meat, olive oil, coconut oil, and cheese, we can obtain the fat-soluble vitamins A, D  E, and K which may have been lacking in a low-fat diet. Eat real food, with real nutrients rather than processed foods that have to be fortified with artificial vitamins.

Focus on nutrient intake, not calorie intake.

Will my cholesterol go up on a keto diet? 

I have written an entire page regarding cholesterol, but the main take-home message is that cholesterol is required by almost every cell of the body, if we don’t have enough, our body will manufacture cholesterol, it is that vital.

Cholesterol itself is not the problem, it is how it is transported within the body that can be a problem.

By eating a high processed high-carb diet, our body carries cholesterol as oxidized LDL which can begin the process of inflammation and damage our blood vessels.

Cholesterol is a poor predictor of heart disease. Half of those who have heart disease have normal cholesterol, and half of those with high cholesterol have healthy hearts. Inflammation, triglycerides, HbA1C, insulin resistance, and LDL particle size are more reliable markers of heart health.

Low cholesterol is actually associated with many other symptoms such as memory loss, Alzheimer’s, low Vit D, and depression. Watch my interviews “What is cholesterol – is it all bad?” and calcium scanning for determining true heart disease, not the risk of it. Read The Great Cholesterol Myth and Cholesterol Clarity, to really understand this complex subject.

Do I need to eat low-carb if I’m skinny?

Weight is only one reflection of health but it is the most obvious one that we can see. No one can see your blood test results by looking at you and so body weight is what most people will judge you on.

People can be skinny or overweight but still undernourished and have a carb intolerance. Processed carbs are unnecessary and offer no nutrition.

Remember it is our HEALTH that is important, not our SIZE. Skinny people can have high visceral fat (the dangerous fat which surrounds your organs) but not tummy fat.

This is often referred to as TOFI (thin outside fat inside). Size is only one indicator of health, but it is the most visual indicator. For too many decades being skinny at all costs has been touted as the ultimate goal.

By living a low-carb lifestyle, increasing quality meat, non-starchy and high-fiber vegetables, and healthy fats, our nutrition improves, inflammation decreases, insulin is stabilized and our risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and all other metabolic diseases is reduced.

Health is the ultimate goal – even more than lower body fat.

Is gluten-free healthy?

There is a subtle but very important point here to remember. Gluten-free (GF) is not grain-free and is not low-carb.

GF products contain high-starch flour such as rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and cornflour. Gluten-free products are often fortified to give them the illusion of a healthy option. 

Gluten-free products are ultra-processed and expensive.

A multi-billion dollar industry has evolved around being gluten-free.
By living grain-free, you become gluten-free. Grain-free is a more nutritious way to eat, eating whole foods, real foods and it’s cheaper.

Don’t be fooled by GF marketing. They are encouraging the GF message by encouraging you to buy their expensive products. Read this post about why gluten-free junk is still junk.

Is ketosis dangerous?

Nutritional ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis. Whilst they sound the same, they are completely different. Ketosis is a normal response when your body burns fat and ketones are produced. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening condition that can sometimes occur in Type One diabetics when ketone production is excessive.

mockups of low-carb FAQ and diet sheet keto meal plan
Keto FAQ and FREE diet sheet with easy meal ideas for beginners.

[convertkit form=2922898]

Will I lose weight on a low-carb diet?

One of the most popular reasons people eat low-carb is to lose weight. Here are some common questions about weight loss on the keto diet, how to shed body fat, should you count calories, and is weight loss faster on a keto diet than on a low-fat diet. Should you be on a high-fat diet? Do you have a carb intolerance? Do you need to count calories?

Is weight loss calories in vs. calories out?

No, decreasing your body weight involves more than just counting calories. It is the type of food we eat, which has a far greater impact on our hormones, appetite control, and fat storage.

100 calories from carbs, fat, and protein will have a remarkably different effect on your blood sugar and insulin response.

Carbs → Glucose → High Insulin → Fat storage and stop fat burning ⇒ WEIGHT GAIN + INCREASED APPETITE + INSULIN RESISTANCE

Lowering your dietary carbohydrates will:
– improve your nutrition
– help regulate your hunger and satiety hormones
– regulate your insulin requirements
– improve your lipid profile
– improve mental clarity and memory
– reduce the risk of numerous metabolic diseases

Eating a high-carb diet can cause chronic high blood glucose, carb intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, inflammation, and causes weight gain.

Eating a low-carb diet gives us stable blood sugars, reduces fat storage, and increases our fat burning as the fuel of choice.

A fundamental aspect that is never addressed in low-fat or calorie-counting diets is appetite control.

If you cut calories too far, and reduce fat from your diet, the first thing you experience is hunger. Nobody wants to feel hungry for a few hours, days, or weeks, your willpower can only last for so long then your hunger is insatiable, and you will eventually cave to high-carb sugary foods.

So yes you may lose weight when you cut calories, but only in the short term as your metabolism adapts to ‘starvation’ mode, and eventually, you give in which is why so many people gain the weight they lost (and sometimes more).

The overwhelming argument for living low-carb is the numerous metabolic health benefits it provides, and the simple fact that it works.

Low-carb is not new, it’s not a fad, and it has been popular for decades. Just ask your grandparents how they lost weight, and they will generally tell you they cut back on bread and potatoes.

Can I eat carbs again once I lose weight?

You may be able to increase your unprocessed carbs slightly, but it really depends on your health goals and your carb tolerance.

Low-carb, high fat is actually a metabolically healthier way to eat, it improves carb tolerance, helps appetite control, helps to lower inflammation, improved lipid profile, supports healthy hormones, and reduces your risk of all metabolic diseases such as T2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer and so much more.

There is a huge decrease in risk factors for health issues when you eat fewer sugary foods.

Can I eat everything in moderation?

Sure have a treat occasionally, but personally, why would you want your health in moderation?

Why would you want to eat foods that we know are harmful, cause inflammation, and increase our risk of so many avoidable diseases?

The M-word (moderation) is actually meaningless. It is a marketing ploy so you don’t feel guilty about having sweet food and junk food on a regular basis. As long as it is varied junk food (ludicrous right?).

Did you know that you are actually healthier by eating a small range of nutritious foods, than everything in moderation?

“Americans with the healthiest diets actually eat a relatively small range of healthy foods,” he said. “These results suggest that in modern diets, eating ‘everything in moderation‘ is actually worse than eating a smaller number of healthy foods.” -Forbes

Eating a variety of whole unprocessed foods is perfect. Eating a variety of processed food, unhealthy oils, processed carbs, and nutrient-void food, is simply unhealthy.

Whereas our grandparents may have enjoyed a treat on birthdays and holidays, children of the 21st century eat as much sugar by the time they are 8 years old as an adult did in their entire life a century ago.

Can I eat low-fat with keto and lose weight faster?

Reaching a healthy weight is more difficult when you eat low-fat. Most low-fat foods and low-fat diets often have more carbs. When the fat is removed, it is generally replaced with some form of starch to ensure the product is still palatable and the texture is acceptable.

Cutting down on carbs and fat is unsustainable. You need healthy fat to help you feel fuller for longer. You need healthy fat for your fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Low-carb eating should always include healthy fats.
Check nutrition labels to check the fat and carb content, for example, low-fat cream cheese can have up to 15% carbs, whereas regular full-fat cream cheese has only 4%.

There are differences in the types of fats, and it is important to understand the difference. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are also called “healthy fats.” This includes things like avocados, olive oil, and fish. It is the fear of saturated fat that created the low-fat diet. Saturated fat is however a healthy and stable fat that can be found in numerous healthy foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs.

mockups of low-carb FAQ and diet sheet keto meal plan
The most common low-carb questions for beginners plus FREE printable low-carb keto diet sheet and keto meal plan.

[convertkit form=2922898]

Carb charts

Road sign

Now you know exactly how low-carb eating works and are ready for slow and steady weight loss, these carb charts are perfect for beginners.


mockup of the keto diet food list on various devices and a buy now button


Get our FREE guide to finally fix your metabolism!

Losing weight & getting healthy is never easy, but lately you might feel like it’s suddenly become impossible.

Our Flip the Switch guide will help you clearly understand what’s been going on, as well as exactly what you can do to get your metabolism working again so that you can look and feel your best—it’s easier and more simple than you think!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hi, I have been on a low carb eating plan for a couple of months now and still not losing weight. Do you have any idea why?

  2. Hi Libby, thanks for your reply. I am tracking although it seems even having a green salad has too many carbs. My day consists of 100g lean meat/chicken/fish twice daily, green salad and or broccoli, half cup organic frozen mixed berries. Meat is cooked in a tbsp ghee so cal are way down but cannot reach my fat intake or protein intake so looking at my tracking my carbs seem too high. I have been eating like this since beginning of year and still no results 🙁 I used to be extremely fit and then had a spinal injury which led me to almost wheel chair bound then had an op and I think all of the meds and contributing factors led me to putting on a lot of weight. I would like to lose 40 to 50kgs.

    1. On the surface it looks like you should be losing weight, your carbs are low, protein not too high, but like you say, not enough fats. Are you eating/drinking things that you are forgetting to track, for example coffees with large amounts of milk? Be really honest for a couple of days and track every last thing. I use My Fitness Pal. The lack or exercise is a tricky one as you have an injury. Is there anything you can safely do? Pilates, yoga, hand weights? Are you having physiotherapy and rehabilitation? Swimming or aqua walking? It would be worth having your medications reviewed and possible blood tests to rule out any other contributing factors. Another site to look at for answers is the diet Dr who answers these questions too. Even if the scale isn’t changing, the body is. .

  3. Hi Libby, this may not be the right place for this question but here goes. Which cream cheese do you recommend? I am after the one that is least processed.

    1. I am constantly finding better ones with the lowest carbs, but at the moment I am using Philadelphia as it only contains 2.3g carbs/100g. I think they are all processed but if you find a better one, let me know 🙂

  4. Hi Libby, just wondering how much is too much cream? I don’t have any milk but just love cream in coffee (decaf), with fruit, in omelets and some of your desserts. Is it better to replace dairy cream with coconut milk/cream or just lower the amount altogether?


    1. Cream has the less carbs (3%) as milk (4.8%) and you end up using far less cream in a coffee than a milky latte. It is higher in fat which will keep you fuller for longer. Generally people cut down on dairy if their weight loss stalls as the carbs can soon add up so keep going depending on how your weight is going.

  5. Christy B says:

    What kind of coconut cream do you use? I just found your website this week. I am trying to cut back on carbs for our family I am getting a lot of resistance. I am making your drumsticks today.

  6. There is a lot written about glucose and fructose, where and how it is stored if it is not used but I can’t find the answer to this question:
    Once we are in ketosis and burning fat for fuel what happens to the fat we eat and don’t use?
    Is it stored? How? Is it excreted?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Excellent question. It is hard to truly overeat fat if we are eating only to fullness and our appetite is regulated. The fat will all be used as fuel as long as your carbs are low enough. There is a good article on overeating fat on Diet Dr. As long as you are maintaining or losing weight, it will appear fat is excreted by being exhaled! Here is a great article explaining that. If you are gaining weight through possibly eating too many carbs, it is being stored as fat.

  7. Which are the best high fibre foods (yet low carb) to ensure that I dont get constipated?

  8. Am I allowed Oatbran in my cooking? It makes really lovely bread and very filling

  9. Thanks Libby for both replies. But I am gutted about the bread as a small piece seemed to keep me full for a long time without my blood sugars going low.

  10. Hi again 🙂
    Do you check your Ketones using the urine strips or is it worth me investing in a Glucometer, they seem quite cheap on Amazon but there’s so many. Want to get fully organised. Many thanks

    1. Urine ketone strips are a good, cheap way to see if you are in ketosis but they are quite inaccurate. Blood ketone strips are more accurate but incredibly expensive. I have a blood glucose meter. I went through a phase of seeing how much my blood glucose would rise after certain foods such as coffee, protein, fat etc. It is really up to you how much testing you want to do. I don’t think it is really necessary to test, just because I like to keep things as simple as possible. Saying that, others love to test as it really keeps them on track and they learn about how their body handles carbs/protein/fat.

  11. Help :-). I’m on fitness pal what should I enter for Carbs/Protein/Fat as a percentage?
    Many thanks

    1. Generally if you want to lose weight keep your carbs below 50g, lower if you want to get into ketosis, or between 50-100g if no weight to lose and are not a T1 or T2 diabetic etc and have good appetite control and blood glucose control. It all depends on your health issues also (heart disease, blood pressure etc). Take a look at this handy keto calculator which may help you refine your percentages on MyFitnessPal.

    2. I set MyFitnessPal at 70-20-10. 70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs.

  12. Thanks Libby for your time that’s a great help

  13. Siobhan O'Reilly says:

    I went to a allergist and she did the test where she put the name of the product that was in a glass jar up to my check my left arm out straight & pushed down on it if my arm went down then I had an intolerance to this specific food. So wheat dairy sugar soya peanuts funny enough I was,okay for oats. So I went bought expensive wheat free stuff tryd making my own bread with buckwheat flour & grains.I am drinking coconut milk on my oats but having read all your information I’m more confused. I find shopping a nightmare. I noticed you use ham & cream cheese things that are processed & this lady would have told me to stay away from pork & anything proceed which in this day is impossible.

  14. Do i need to control my portions – I’m looking for some info around how much to eat at main meals ect

    1. You will learn to trust your satiety and hunger. Eat until full, or eat until almost full as it takes a while for your stomach to register that you may have eaten enough. You will also learn not to overeat and not to overindulge in any one food, which is what so many people have been used to for so long. Once you have been LCHF for a while you really will be in control of your hunger, as you are no longer driven by the sugar/insulin roller coaster. This is why LCHF is so successful and sustainable as this way of eating dresses the main issue – appetite control. Low fat diets just leave you hungry and lacking the healthy fats we so desperately need in our life. Eat until full, variety and balance, eat real food and you will be successful.

  15. Hi Libby, Im type 1 diabetic and have recently started on a low carb diet in the last few weeks. Im not overweight at all – but I know the benefits a low carb diet has on my blood sugar levels which I have really struggled with in the 15years I have been type 1 . My question is – in terms of the amount of seeds/nuts the low carb diet has – is it bad to have too much? And how much is too much? ie – I make my own low carb bread but also have low carb cereal also most days. Thanks

    1. Hi Cathy, yes seeds and nuts quickly add to our carb intake so be mindful of how may you’re getting through each day. Being a T1, have you joined Type One Grit Facebook page? They are a fabulous group with amazing support for diabetics (all types) following Dr Bernstein’s approach. Also take a look at my Pinterest diabetic boards. Let me know if you would like to join as a contributor.

  16. Hi Libby,
    Happy New Year. My husband had a kidney transplant five years ago, but since has had trouble keeping his weight under control so his specialist has recommended an LCHF diet, so I was thrilled to come across your page and all the awesome information & recipes, it has given us a great starting point.

    I just wondered when looking at food labels do you have a recommended level of carbs per 100gms that we should be looking for??

    I am looking forward to our new food lifestyle for both my husband & my children, I can see so many benefits coming from it, thank you.

    1. Hi Victoria, I am so glad you have found my website and it is helping you and your husband (and what a sensible specialist you have to recommend LCHF). Many people try and choose foods that have less than 5g sugar per 100g but that doesn’t account for the carbs. I think it is best to look at carbs per serving rather than 100g as this is what you will be consuming. My carbs mainly come from leafy vegetables, berries, nuts and dairy. Once you give up the obvious places sugar and carbs come from such as cakes, biscuits, drinks, sweets and processed food, you almost become low carb by default. The main foods where carbs can sometimes creep back in is by eating excessive nuts and dairy so just keep an eye on your daily amounts. Join me on Facebook too to get support and ideas, and subscribe for free recipes when i post them. Happy new year to you and your family, Libby.

      1. Thanks Libby,
        Well we are off to a pretty good start, we are loving your no gain cereal, your grain free granola bars and your blueberry cheesecake squares and the weight is coming off, so thanks. I still miss my toast and rice crackers but I’m sure i’ll get over that!!!

        I note you recommend approx. 35-70 gms of carbs a day but what is the max you would recommend per serve, i really just need a guide for the likes of yogurt & cheeses etc… that i do buy.


        1. I don’t really count carbs any more. I always eat low carb nutrient dense foods and eat until full. You are right to be aware of your dairy intake. Yoghurts, milk and cream can soon add up. Luckily cheeses are far lower in carbs. I buy unsweetened natural yoghurt which is apron 3-4% carbs and only have about 100g as a serving size. I also restrict how many milky coffees I have as that used to be my downfall, so I have 1/day or use a smaller amount of cream and have 2. Hope that helps.

  17. Hi,

    First of all: thanks for such a great website! Great Information and insights. I do have a question though. I have been trying to avoid sugars as good as I can, not because I need to lose weight, it just makes me feel better and healthier, and been learning much about it.
    I noticed that in many of your recipes you use stevia as a sweetener. How come? Aren’t there chemicals added if you use the granulated form? What does or doesn’t it do to your body that other “natural” sweeteners like agave, honey or dried fruits do?

    Thank you for your response !


    1. Hi Mel, and great question. Yes, I use stevia but the minimum amount required to sweeten a recipe. I also say “or sweetener of choice” if you prefer to use something else. I use stevia as it doesn’t raise your blood glucose at all which honey, fruit or dried fruits do. Agave is mainly fructose so I would avoid that completely. Stevia and sugar are both ‘natural but processed’, so I choose stevia as it keeps sugar, insulin and appetite in control. The choice is ultimately yours, and the ethos of going low carb is to give up the sweet foods but having a low carb alternative on hand is always a good option when needs must.

  18. Pam Franke says:

    Should you take any vitamins?

    1. You shouldn’t need to if you are eating well balanced meals with plenty of fresh real food, vegetables, good quality protein and healthy fats. Some people however take magnesium for relaxation, sleep and bowel movements, and omega 3 to balance their 3:6 ratio. That’s another whole post in itself. Read this, it may help.

  19. Do the nutritional counts in your recipes reflect the actual carbs or net carbs (carbs less fiber)?

  20. I am going to be attempting the London Marathon in April. All of the advice I can find about what to eat in advance talks about ‘Carb loading’. What, in your opinion, is the best LCHF version of Carb loading, or isn’t there one?

  21. Hi, what’s your take on food combining? I’ve read that fruit should never be eaten with or after any other macronutrient meal. Is it true that starchy foods should not be eaten with protein and fat. Very interested in your reply…I eat my protein and fat sources with leafy non starchy veg…but will eat fruit as a snack alone and sometimes a starchy homemade soup as a separate meal.

  22. I am so excited and extremely thankful that I found your website. This has exactly been my thoughts for years but everyone says to watch the fats. Your recipes are awesome. I think I have died and gone to heaven! My only question is about meat. Do they need to be organic or grass-fed? Also, I have always heard to stay away from ham and bacon because of the nitrates. Is it OK to buy the meat and bacon at the local grocery store or do I need to go to the city and buy organic or grass-fed?

    1. Donna your comment is lovely to receive today, I’m glad you found my website and it is helping (and you are discovering new recipes to try).
      As for the meat question, yes without a doubt grass fed organic is best but that is simply out of the reach of most people. I am lucky enough to live in NZ where all the meat is pretty much free range and grass fed (other than pork which I have to check first). For those who simply cannot afford to eat organic grass fed, I say to just eat the best that you can afford, and those are generally the people who need help the most. I have readers who haven’t cooked for themselves in 20 years so as long as they are cooking simple meat, vegetables and healthy fats, that is an improvement for them beyond believe. I also don’t advise specifics for meat as it turns so many people away as it is unobtainable for so many families. I want to be realistic and get families away from ultra processed food and back to cooking family meals.
      As for ham and bacon, that is something I will only buy that is not pre formed (i.e.: off the bone) and with minimal additives. I have found one that is nitrate free and amazing. Again with processed meat, find the best quality, the least human intervention and back to basics.
      Gosh that was a long winded reply, I hope it answers it all. Fabulous questions to ask. Libby.

      1. Hello, Re: Grass Fed Meat. A local butcher (Australia – Regional NSW) told me that if you buy from your local butcher and it’s vacuum packed/Kryvac it’s feedlot, otherwise it’s all grass-fed (i.e. Off the hook). This applies to Beef and Sheep but with pork you have to ask.

  23. I have a question about gummy supplements. First thing in the morning I take gummy supplements, so right from the start I have consumed 31g in carbs. Should I stop taking them or is it okay not to count these carbs?

    1. Personally I wouldn’t take supplements which are in effect candy. There are so many good quality supplements these days that do not contain sugar. Speak to your pharmacist to find an equivalent without the sugar.

  24. Hi Libby, I just found your site today and am so happy I did. We are, somewhat nervously, beginning LCHF with our 12.5 yo son tomorrow. There is not much support online, that I can find, to guide parents through this for their children. My son plays sports all year round but has had several injuries the last 6 months around his growth plates causing a lot of down time when he is usually exercising. He also started middle school and they do not have gym class or recess. He has gained 24 lbs in 10 months. I think he is eating more because he’s bored, or maybe even mildly depressed from all the inactivity and not getting to play on his sports teams. After we noticed some weight gain, about 5-7 pounds, beginning to appear, we drastically changed his diet to very low fat, slightly more fruit, and better lunches and dinners and he has continued to gain weight. I also think during his injuries, we allowed him too much video game time and enabled some of this weight gain. He also started drinking less water and more juice when he wasn’t in his sports. I know he might not enjoy us taking so much control over his “diet” but I also know that it is because I love and care for him that I need to get him in a better way of eating. I also feel I should be a role model while doing so. I have been LCHF off and on for several years and always feel better when eating that way, I do fall off the wagon because I give up and/or don’t give myself enough variety and am the only person in the house eating that way. After several discussions with my husband, we have decided as a family to convert to LCHF and while our long term goals are to achieve healthier bodies, I’d also like for my son to hopefully see some weight loss through the transition. Do you know what the recommended amount of carbs is for a 12.5 year old boy? Perhaps one recommended amount to help him with weight loss and different amount once he’s achieved his weight goal? He is 5 feet 1 inch and weighs 127. He was 4 feet 11 inches and weighed 102 at his physical 10 months ago. Thank you for any help. I feel rather lost and don’t want to do anything to hurt him.

    1. Hi Missy, I cannot give advice here but what I will say is what I do with MY children. They are low carb not no carb, my emphasis is on nutrient dense food and no sugars, no grains and no processed seed oils. What I see when parents switch to LCHF is the children’s health improves and weight loss is a direct response to their improved health. They gain increased insulin sensitivity and they are no longer driven by insulin led hunger so their insatiable appetite slowly disappears. I don’t count carbs for my children (nor for myself) I want our way of life to be sustainable for the long term and not to be complicated or difficult. I don’t want my children growing up with any food issues, just junk food issues 😉 I hope this helps, if you need to see a low carb dietician, I can point you in the direction of a couple I trust. You are doing an amazing job taking control of the situation and helping your son to greater health, take care, Libby.

  25. Hi,
    I’ve just started the LCHF diet but am finding it very difficult. Everytime I find a recipe that looks good, it either has NUTS or EGGS, both which I am allergic to. So breakfast, its been either Bacon tomato and onion or Yogurt with Berries and Sunflower seeds. The bacon is good and keeps me full but I can’t eat it every day and Nitrate free bacon is expensive.
    Lunch I made some beef cheese patties, with cheese,lettuce and tomato. Sometimes just a salad with lots of cheese.
    Dinner is a bit easier, Chill con carne, Roast chook with sweet potatoe and beans and others.
    So Breakfast and lunch are a problem for me. I’d love it if there was more I could eat.

    BTW great blog

      1. Thanks Libby,

        Its my 3rd week on cutting out carbs and I am now starting to find it really hard to enjoy the food. I miss my carbs. I’m thinking i might just try and reduce the amount of carbs I eat. I hope that can make a difference.

        Thanks again

        1. If you are struggling, even cutting back on the carbs will help. Personally, I went LCHF slowly. I started to reduce my carbs from bread, cakes, pasta etc, then as I got used to that, I slowly became stricter as I didn’t fancy those high carb foods anymore. As I reduced my carbs, I felt happy to increase my healthy fats. Be guided by how you feel and go at your own pace. You don’t have to go keto and it doesn’t have to happen overnight, in fact I think if you gradually go low carb, it is easier and more sustainable.

          1. Hi Libby! Well you answered my question. I tried LCHF several times – and it was tough because I wasn’t consuming enough sodium and my blood sugar would was just awful 🙁 So this time, I am now SLOWLY reducing carbs from my meals. My first meal is 3 eggs scrambled with 1 oz. cheese and 1/4 diced fresh tomatoes. Lunch is 4 oz. chicken thigh with skin, 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup broccoli (I have IBS so I am doing the veggie part slowly – otherwise I will have a lot of pain. And I can’t eat veggies at night; otherwise I wake up sick to my stomach 🙁

            Eventually I will add a small salad in place of the rice.

            Dinner is shake with 1/2 very small banana, protein powder and collagen powder as well. I also add 1/2 Tbsp. either coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. I also have 8 oz. bone broth.

            Total carbs for the day is 60.

            So—-slow weaning is going to be the way I will do this. I’m really looking forward to it!

  26. I LOVE your blog, Facebook posts and Pinterest boards. You’re a treasure trove of good information. I’ve been on a strict lchf diet for about a month now. Feel great and I’m losing lots of inches. My question that I can’t find an answer to despite all my searching is this: I am not hungry…ever. I usually have to force myself to eat a meal. I drink coffee with tons of fat in the morning and then I’m good until dinner. I’ve been tracking my meals on a app and am averaging about 900-1100 calories per day. I have plenty of padding to lose, so is it necessary to eat? Can I just trust my body and eat when I’m hungry? Should I force myself to eat more calories? Help…..

    1. Take a look at Diet Dr who has some fantastic posts on intermittent fasting. There are many kinds of IF so read this FAQ on the subject from Dr Jason Fung who is an expert in IF. Learn to trust your hunger, if you are not hungry do you really need to eat? If you still have weight to lose then let your body burn your body fat rather than fat from a meal. You need to eat to obtain vitamins, minerals, nutrients etc so make any meals you do eat as nutrient dense as possible. Never force yourself to eat. Trust your appetite, learn to understand it and eat only when hungry. The 3 meals a day and constant snacking is such an urban myth led by food companies.

  27. I make sour dough bread using a yeast free starter, it’s a 3 day process and the ‘grains’ are soaked over night – including sesame seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, also kibble wheat grains, jumbo oats, whole barley grains, so even if I replace the last 3 grains with seeds and because it still has wholemeal flour, I’m guessing it is still high carb?

  28. HELP!I have been on Keto for 3 mo now. I find it to be very satisfying and my sweet tooth is almost completely gone.My energy level is SO MUCH Better too.. I have decided to do Keto for health reasons but certainly need to lose some weight. I started at 170 lbs and am now at 160 which I feel is pretty good for being pretty inactive. I am 53 yrs old 5″6″ 31.8% body fat (at start), very inactive due to arthritis but I do try to ride my bike 1 mile 3x-4x/week. I have had both hips replaced and I am facing spinal surgery in the future(hopefully distant) for stenosis L4-S1 aka I HAVE PAIN. mostly with and after activity. I have some atrophy and have extreme muscle/joint pain 1-2 days after exercise requiring 1-2 days recovery. With all this said, I have not only hit a wall with weight loss but I had bloodwork done last week and my cholesterol has gone UP! Prev chol 211. current 241 Trig prev. 56 current 75 HDL prev 67 current 68, LDL prev 133 current 158. This is terrible and I dont know what to do! I feel I can increase my exercising to daily bike rides and figured my marcos (which I had not prev done) at: 1386 Calories 112 gr fat
    75 gr Protein and sticking with 20 gr Carbs. After 2 weeks I have not loss any weight. I am doing a pretty good job at staying within these ranges. Sometimes my calories are low and protein low Carbs a little high somedays but never above 30gr
    fat is between 115- 130gr so I will lower this. Do you feel this plan is good or should I adjust it even more.
    Thank you for any help you have to offer.
    Feeling defeated…

    1. Hi Martha, I cannot give individual medical advice but all the experts are telling us that triglycerides are the best indicator of heart health and carbohydrate control. This page explains cholesterol carriers HDL and LDL. High cholesterol is seen to be an indicator of health and longevity and low cholesterol is linked with dementia, depression and shorter life span. Take a look at this great article by Dr Aseem Malhotra regarding cholesterol. He’s a wonderful cardiologist who is challenging what we currently think about cholesterol and it’s role in cardiovascular disease.

      1. Libby,
        Thank you for the article, it gave me some peace about the increase of cholesterol. I am wondering though if the increase is a sign that I am not in ketosis? I haven,t really lost much weight either!

  29. Melissa Howard says:

    In January 2016 my husband’s doctor told him he was pre-diabetic because he had an elevated Hemoglobin A1-C. Instead of even mentioning dietary changes, she suggested he go on Metformin. We both had cholesterol levels in the 230s, triglycerides in the 160s, LDLs above 150 and HDLs around 40. Neither one of us were overweight, but not underweight either. Not wanting him to go on medication, we ditched that doctor and Ditch the Carbs became our new mantra. We didn’t do anything radical. Just decided most processed foods were the enemy and simple eating meant healthy. We used a carb guide the first two weeks just to get an idea of the numbers, and our goal was to eat no more than 25-30 carbs per meal. We stopped bread, rice, potatoes and sugar and increased healthy fats. We eat walnuts and almonds daily, an avocado daily, a lot of cruciferous and dark leafy veggies, berries, protein, cheeses, eggs, low carb granola, low carb flat bread, low carb tortillas and almond milk. When we want something sweet we eat a chunk of dark chocolate or yummy low carb peanut butter cookies. Occasionally I try a new low carb dinner recipe or dessert just to keep things interesting, but 9 months in we eat as much as we want when we want and feel satisfied and healthy. In July we both had our annual blood work done and the change in numbers was nothing short of amazing.
    Here are my lab comparisons
    2016 2015
    Triglycerides 115 167
    Cholesterol 190 235
    LDL (bad) 116 155
    HDL (good) 51 47

    And my husband’s were equally impressive, although his HDL was in the 80s. Great!! His Hgb A1-C also dropped a few tenths, but we’re hoping to see even more improvement with time.
    There was no magic bullet here. We used Ditch the Carbs to get us started and now our habits have become our lifestyle. As time goes on I hope to broaden our horizons in low carb cuisine, but what we’re doing now works and we are jazzed. Thank you, Libby!

  30. Dianne Bonniwell says:

    I have been on the LCHF diet for 9 months. For the first 5 months I did really well. I lost 20 lbs. and felt great. I never cheated. Then I noticed my hair started falling out and I had a bad headache every day and started gaining weight. I did a urine pH test and I am at 5. I don’t know what is causing this. I can’t afford to lose any more hair and I am very discouraged. Any ideas? I am still in ketosis.

    1. Dianne Bonniwell says:

      Also, my blood pressure went way up and my bones and muscles ache.

    2. I can’t give medical advice and don’t know all your medical background, so it would be prudent to see your GP to get some blood tests done to see what else is going on. Checking your food diary would be helpful for them to see your average daily intake.

  31. Afternoon Libby Which Bacon and Ham are the best to eat with the least amount of nitrate.

  32. Hi Libby,

    I was just wondering where you learned all about LCHF?
    Your recipes look very yummy!

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Mainly through workshops held with Prof Grant Schofield, Dr Caryn Zinn, and I occasionally write for Diet Doctor also. I am a registered pharmacist so do much of my research through trusted experts who I have become friends with via my work here. I try to leave the technical research to them, I can’t write academic posts here, that is their incredible domain. I just try to write simple articles and at the end of the day, families just want to know what to eat, that’s where I am hoping I am having a genuine impact. I’m so glad you’re enjoying them, Libby.

  33. hi I have been following your website all year now, and absolutely love the food and advice. my only question and concern is about sodium levels. I feel as though the less carbs and sugar we eat, it is then replaced with things like bacon, sausages, ham and cheese etc.. they are all so high in salt (sodium) I’m wondering what your thoughts were on this. i cant seem to find much information on this topic as a cardiac nurse I agree with everything on your website I’m just worried about the high salt intake and the effects of the cardiovascular system eg: HTN

    1. How I see it, is for most people the majority of our salt intake used to be from processed foods, snacks, crips, chips, cereal, bread etc so I actually add salt to our dinners now. As much as many of my recipes use bacon and ham, I don’t go overboard on them. I probably buy one packet of bacon per week for a family of five, and ham off the bone each fortnight. Sausages I choose the ones with >80% meat and minimal processing. There is research to show that it is actually sugar that is more dangerous to our blood pressure than salt. This is a great summary in the BMJ. I love the fact you’re a cardiac nurse here. I am a pharmacist and I can’t believe how many health professionals I am meeting are doing their own research into the role nutrition, carbs, fats etc are having on our health and medication needs. I truly think medicine will be a totally different picture in 20 years time, I’m not waiting and it seems there are thousands who think the same.

  34. Rosanne Mcwilliams says:

    Regarding the use of nuts and seeds do you soak and dry before use? I am under the impression that it is best so as to eliminate phytic acid

  35. Hi I am thinking of starting LCHF diet soon! I eat healthy (or thought so) but am aware as a vegetarian my carb intake is off the scale and in the last 6 months I am piling on the pounds at an alarming rate. My concern is can this work as a vegetarian? I eat eggs if disguised in a recipe but not on their own & don’t eat meat substitutes or fish. So could I sustain this diet on veg, seeds, yoghurt salad, nuts??? Any suggestions as I am in desperate need of loosing weight! Recipe suggestions? Thanks

      1. Hi Libby, thanks I will certainly try these recipes. If I was unable to sustain LCHF 7 days a week would I still see results on say a 5 :2 regime? Are outtakes and cannellini beans allowed? .

        1. I’m sure fasting would help. Beans and pulses generally are avoided but vegetarians quite often keep them in their diet and are still successful. The ethos of LCHF is to base our meals on real whole foods that happen to be lower in carbs and higher in healthy fats. I wouldn’t get too bogged down with numbers and counting. By removing sugar, processed foods, and meal bulking agents such as bread, pasta, rice etc, you’re become low carb almost by default, so you’re virtually there.

    1. Kristine Winn says:

      Hi Libby so many vegaterians even vegans gain weight and it’s due to the even higher carb intake eaten to replace eating animal products. try drop the carbs and increase vegetables full cream dairy and nuts and seeds instead.

  36. Rieann Mann says:

    Hi Libby, Will I come to much harm by using Xylitol 1/4 metric tsp in my bed time cocoa (made with Dutch Cocoa powder, boiing water and pouring cream? I hate the aftertaste of stevia, have tried to give up all sugar, went from 2 tsps to 1/2 tsp to none over several months but stopped drinking because I hate the unsweetened taste. Now having 2 cups of coffee a day, cream but no sugar, but bed time I really miss my cocoa. Old chook, lots to loose, and I cannot use too much Xylitol anyway because of GI disturbances.
    Have started drinking Bonox with 10G butter once a day as I get bored with plain water.

    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Rieann, I’m sure the tiny 1/4 tsp xylitol is fine to continue with (keep it away from dogs as it is toxic to them). You have managed to cut back so much already, well done. I am sure in time, even this bedtime taste will subside also. I am starting to add a good pinch of cinnamon to my creamy coffee, what a difference in flavour that makes. A little bit sweet and so much punch. You might like that also.

  37. Catherine says:

    Hi, I am very new to this and your website was recommended by a friend. I think your website is fantastic and I can’t wait to get started transforming my diet to lchf. I see a lot of recipes include cheese (which I absolutely love!) however I am breastfeeding my dairy intolerant 7 month old son and can therefore not eat cheese. I also don’t eat eggs so these factors seem to cut out a lot of recipes. I really want to change my diet however I am worried I won’t have enough alternatives and resort back to eating lots of bread! I would greatly appreciate any advice ?.

    1. Gosh, avoiding cheese AND eggs is a tough one. It may be a little trickier but I am sure you can do it. Many readers tell me they can buy non-dairy cheese in their countries, could that be an option for you? I’m hoping you are able to tolerate nuts, berries, fish, meat, vegetables, coconut oil/cream/chips/butter, etc. How about butter or ghee? Even those with dairy intolerance have found they can tolerate those as they are predominantly lactose free (check each brand however for accuracy). What about coconut yoghurt? As long as you are eating non-processed food, lower in carbs, you will still have success without going back to bread. You may have to have a fewer higher carb nutrient dense foods, but still be able to avoid sugars and grains. Good luck, and let me know how you get on.

  38. Pam Marrs says:

    I made the crackers with the exact ingredients in the recipe. The dough was way to soft. I made them and after removing the top sheet I tried to score for future breaking apart. When they baked it al ran together. Looked a mess but tasted good. I was using almond flour 1 3/4 cup……any idea as to why my dough was so soft?

  39. Libby, where do you stand on lard? I’m guessing it’s okay to use because it is low in polyunsaturated fats but high in saturated and monounsaturated fats. Any reason I should stay away from using lard for frying?

  40. What is your stance on LCHF and breastfeeding? Also my 3month old has had thrush before and I was told that thrush thrives on ketones.. so I’m hesitant to go back to LCHF until after nursing. I enjoyed the lifestyle before pregnancy and am wanting to go back ASAP but not at the risk of my milk supply.

  41. Hi Im new to Keto and want to try it out, I also can’t have to much dairy, is there an alternative?
    I do how ever love cheese.
    Any great recipe suggestions?


      1. Tina Cairns says:

        I am trying to reach you about the ingredients in the keto waffles does it really take 9 tbsp. of butter (abbreviated).

        1. Yes, it makes the waffles beautifully tasty and buttery. It makes them light yet filling. You add the butter melted and it also helps the waffles from sticking too. These are one of the most popular recipes on my site, and they’ve even give me the title of the “keto waffle goddess”. Not to sig=ng my own process, but they are tried and tested by thousands. Make them and you’ll see why 🙂

    1. Kim Tonnet says:

      Hi Dani – you can use coconut milk & cream as dairy milk alternatives likewise coconut yoghurt instead of traditional greek yoghurt. In cooking (such as low carb baked goods), almond milk can be used instead of dairy milk. Likewise you can use almond milk in hot beverages. If lactose is the basis of your dairy avoidance, you may still able to tolerate butter and some hard cheeses.

  42. I read an article recently about “resistant starch” in cooked, cooled and reheated starches like potatoes, rice & some pasta but I can’t seem to find any more info. A quick Google search brings up a few sites saying resistant starch is low or no carb and ok for keto but they don’t include any carb or calorie levels. I’m trying to get my hubby on low carb for his seizure disorder but he loves his potatoes & rice. I’m all for cook ahead and cool if it will help – he gets tired of cauliflower rice LOL
    So what is real deal on resistant starch?

  43. I want make lemon cupcakes but I know my son will want but he has peanut allergy so I cant use almond flour can u sub coconut if so how much

    1. You could use this cupcake recipe that only requires coconut flour. Simply omit the berries and add extra lemon zest. I am developing more and more coconut flour recipes because of the numerous allergies to almond flour and the omega 3:6 ratio that isn’t so great in almond flour baking when eaten in large quantities. You can see all my coconut flour recipes that only use coconut flour (or have a recipe note to show you how to adapt it to become coconut flour only). See the recipes here.

      1. Lynda Dennehy says:

        I have allergy to dairy Casein – can I make the Keto Bagels with Cahsew Mozz instead and Cashew Cream cheese?

        1. I’m sorry I have never used these varieties of cheese so cannot confidentally say they would work. Have any readers tried these? I’d love to know your thoughts and suggestions.

  44. ALISON STONE says:

    Hi, the ultimate guides are fantastic easy ways to see how many carbs in things at a glance – can they be printed, or are they available in an eBook? Fed up with trawling internet every time I cook for my husband to count the carbs!

  45. Hi, I just purchased your books and was wondering if the majority of recipes can be frozen and if so, for how long?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Gosh, each recipe will vary considerably as to which cookbook you purchased and which recipe you are referring to that be frozen. Is there a particular recipe that you wish to freeze?

      1. Hi Libby, thanks so much for getting back to me. I just thought that info might be included as part of each recipe?

        1. Dianne Southern says:

          How much cholesterol is in the easy coconut floor cupcakes?

  46. I recently had some bloodwork show slightly elevated SGOT & SGPT levels with very guidance from my medical provider. I don’t drink. Is going low carb what I should be doing? If so, are there still certain foods I should avoid even if they are low carb. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

  47. Donna Endres says:

    Hi Libby. I’ve really enjoyed your IG posts and love your viewpoint. I do have a question for you. I have done Very low calorie diets 3 times in my life, last one was HCG. Absolutely cannot lose weight since. Have been strictly on Dr. Berg’s Healthy Keto since Jan 19, no cheats at all. Carbs at 20 or below, fat at 50-70. Lost 7 lbs early on, but for most of the last 6-7 weeks, have been losing the same 1-2 lbs. Don’t eat from 7pm to 9:30 am. Suggestions? Guidance?

  48. Elaine Coulter says:

    Hi there!
    I followed the two-step bread recipe and it turned purple!
    Is this supposed to happen?
    Thanks for your help.
    Elaine C (email removed)

    1. Was it the bread recipe that used psyllium husk? It is very common that certain brands of psyllium husk react with baking powder/soda and turn a wonderful (but annoying and not very appealing) shade of purple. There is nothing inherently wrong with the bread other than it being very unappealing. Ditch that brand, and use another. You can ask in the Facebook group for recommendations from members in your country.